“Avant-garde lofts with all the comforts of home in Cihangir, an artists’ haven close to the throb of Taksim Square”
Linger beneath 6 (count ‘em) showerheads. The afternoon sun bounces tiny rainbows off bevelled mirror-tiles. The view of night-lit mosques in Old Istanbul from your rocking chair could make your whole trip. New to the hotel business, brother and sister Tuncel Toprak and Seçil Erdoðan trusted the bold genius of their fresh perspective to trump their lack of hands-on experience. Classic materials - thick slabs of Marmara marble and gleaming French subway tiles - blend with the custom handcrafted furnishings and sleek fixtures of leading-edge designers. The result: a true original.
- Ideal for long-term stays; space to spare, a nicely equipped kitchenette and real closet - with shelves, drawers and shoe racks, not just a few hangers
- Magical views from the permaculture rooftop and some of the more expensive suites
- Uber-style emphasizing comfort; everything you need from microwave popcorn to a Bose dock for your iPod
- Tucked into a quiet residential neighbourhood dotted with corner markets and outdoor cafes - yet close to the business centre, citywide transportation and Beyoglu shopping
- 1:1 employee-to-suite ratio; genuine warmth and a spate of personal services, from shopping assistance to unpacking service
- Outside walls are soundproof, but there’s no separation of sleeping area from living areas inside the suite
- Minimalist, monochrome design may not suit those looking for traditional Turkish architecture and colour
- Residential setting may be too far from sightseeing for first-timers and too tame for club-hounds; some taxi drivers need directions (you’ll get a Turkish “cheat-sheet”)
- No on-site restaurant or spa, although you can order meals from local restaurants, and enjoy a massage in your room
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast + basic self catering (walk to restaurants)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Tuncel Toprak appointed Autoban - an Istanbul-based architecture, interior and product design firm named “Best Young Designers” by Wallpaper* magazine in 2004 - to capture his vision.
The result is 18 open, airy suites dressed in a fascinating collage of textures, including hardwood floors, marble slab, leather upholstery, faux walls laser-punched with fluid swirl designs, all bathed in natural light from 4 sets of double-doors.
Crisp white bed linens and wrought iron flourishes add definition to warm earth tones. All the furnishings are from Autoban’s own minimalist line, including the cosiest of king- or queen-sized beds with a leather-upholstered wingback-style headboard.
Another first in any hotel: Ross Lovegrove’s Istanbul bathroom series, a high style update to the traditional marble Turkish bath that includes a bouquet of showerheads raining from the ceiling of a shower roomy enough for two. You also get spoiling Molton Brown toiletries.
Categories are assigned by view and terrace space. All suites - except the King - have panoramic vistas of the bustling traffic on the Bosphorus, as well as a handful of major landmarks. The King and Queen with Panoramic Terrace and the Penthouse suites have a glorious wraparound terrace, too; do note that the Queen suite is by far the smallest room, but we'd certainly be happy here for a long weekend. Each comfortable cocoon comes complete with individually controlled air con, WiFi, 200 channels on the flat-screen TV, a Nespresso machine, an iPod dock and Bose speakers.
- Air conditioning
- Bose speakers
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Ipod dock
- Nespresso coffee machine
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Enjoy breakfast in your room at no extra charge. Or grab the Turkish Daily (English language) newspaper on your doorknob and head for the buffet set in the lobby from 7-10am each day. Choices range from Turkish standards (tomatoes and cucumbers, marinated olives, white cheeses, yoghurt with dried fruit) to more international fare including dry cereals, eggs, breads, pastries and fresh seasonal fruits.
The well-equipped marble kitchen island in one corner of your suite houses a large sink, microwave and mini-bar/fridge. With utensils - from a cutting board to an electric kettle - and serving ware, you can prepare snacks and small meals. The mini-bar (stocked with the standards) doubles as a refrigerator roomy enough for purchases at neighbourhood markets.
You get complimentary room service; the front desk can recommend restaurants in the neighbourhood or farther afield, and make reservations or arrange to have dinner delivered to your room.
- Coffee / tea making
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Join neighbourhood artists and intellectuals at corner cafes in Cihangir; Beyoglu is the heart of modern Istanbul and home to a thriving arts scene, bars, and some of the best restaurants in the city. A 5-minute walk from Taksim Square - Istanbul’s Piccadilly Circus - where you can catch a metro to anywhere
- Take a taxi across Galata bridge to Sultanahmet (10-15 minutes away); home to one of the richest concentrations of ancient relics in the world, among them the Suleymaniye and Sultanahmet (or Blue) Mosques, Hagia Sophia (a 6th century Byzantine marvel) and the Topkapi Palace, you could easily spend two days there
- Take to the water: cruising up and down the Bosphorus on a ferry or a tourist boat is one of the best ways to see the city, and all the main docks - Karakoy, Eminonu and Kabatas - are within easy distance of the hotel
- Go shopping: From the haggles of the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carshi) (10 minutes by tram) and Spice Market to the high-street stores that line the mile-long pedestrianised Ýstiklâl Caddesi, or the designer boutiques of Nistantasi, Istanbul is a shopaholic's dreamland
- Go party: Beyoglu is Istanbul’s club central and many of the better night spots are within walking distance. Try Nardis Jazz Club, Istanbul 360 (a cool rooftop terrace bar) or Babylon (for world music)
- Do the museums and galleries circuit: the Pera Museum in the nearby Tepebasi district is housed in a lovely Victorian building (once the Bristol Hotel); or Istanbul Modern (Istanbul’s answer to Tate Modern) is housed in a converted waterside warehouse at Kabatas (a five-minute walk)
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
The hotel’s residential location and kitchen facilities are convenient for families, but lack of walls separating living and sleeping areas can be awkward, that said, an extra bed and baby cot can be added to all suites.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting can be arranged on request.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Set on a steep hill in quiet Cihangir - a charmingly gentrified residential neighbourhood off the tourist track - but close to the action of European Beyoglu. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll get a pocket-sized brochure with a map and detailed directions to the hotel in Turkish for taxi drivers. The nearest metro station is Tophane, or Taksim Square, 5 minutes by taxi.
Istanbul has 2 airports - Ataturk (25km away), which is served by many international flights, and Sabiha Gökçen (43km away), which is mainly used by budget carriers. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving them.
From the Airport
It’s a 30-minute taxi ride from Ataturk International to Beyoglu (or a 48-minute drive from Sabiha Gökçen), though the journey can take much longer during rush hour. The hotel can arrange a transfer. There are also buses and 'LRT' (light rail) trains from the domestic terminal into town, and an irregular airport shuttle. If you are driving, the hotel can pay for parking in a nearby car park. See Rates.
The nearest ferry services (for boats across the Bosphorus) are at Karakoy (to the south) and Kabatas (to the north).
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to Turkey and getting around
- Ataturk International 25.0 km IST
- Sabiha Gökçen International 43.0 km SAW
- Beach 45.0 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km